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The Dead Cells Barrels o' Fun update adds explosive new level and 8-bit soundtrack

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The unfairly maligned explosive barrel is given a spotlight in Dead Cells' (opens in new tab) latest update, which bolts on a new level crammed to the rafters with barrels. It's a distillery, see, only instead of paying to go on a tour and maybe put your head in one of the whisky barrels, you're enduring spikes and explosions and being chased around by a vicious barrel on legs.

The 'Barrels o' Fun' update, live now on Steam, introduces the Derelict Distillery as an alternate path to High Peak Castle. It's full of overtly barrel-themed enemies including the aforementioned leggy casks (mimics hiding among normal barrels) and giant brutes wearing barrel backpacks. 

If that wasn't enough, there are barrels strewn around that will explode when struck, either into enemies or (if you're clever) into destructible parts of the scenery. New weapons have also been added to help you fight back: the electricity-spewing Tesla Coil and the bazooka-like Barrel Launcher. So many barrels—it's as if a cooper is blackmailing developer Motion Twin.

Joining the new level is an '8-bit' chiptune rendition of Dead Cells' soundtrack, which you can swap in whenever you're feeling in a retro mood. There have been a few tweaks made in other areas as well, including a reworked Explosive Crossbow and fewer rats in both the Prisoners' Quarters and Corrupted Confinement biomes. You can find the patch notes for the update here.

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.